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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Adventures in the Biennale College at Venice (Part 2)

It's been a week since I got back from the Biennale College in Venice.

Now I'm back in the airport, preparing to fly off to Xi'An, China.

But before that, I want to remember my last two days in Venice.

13th and 14th of October revolved around the public pitching session (13th being the rehearsal, and 14th being the actual pitching). Each director/producer team were given around 6-10 minutes to talk about their projects, in public, to the Italian media, and to Alberto Barbera (director of the Venice Film Festival), Paolo Baratta (president of the Biennale), and many other important people.

It was pretty exciting.

We went to the Biennale building. The view from the top was rather stunning. I needed that to calm myself before the presentation.

Last day in Venice.

Over the past few years, I was given a lot of opportunities to speak in public. Either it was for film festivals, press conferences, representing the PHD students at my graduation ceremony in Waseda, etc. so I thought I would be able to go through this rather easily.

However, pitching your film is an entirely different thing. After getting a lot of feedback that I speak too fast and sound mostly incoherent to most people, I decided to take a different approach upon my presentation. To change the cadence of my speech, so that each word, each sentence, would mean as much as I wanted it to be.

I was thinking of the Script and Pitch session at the Torino Film Lab 3 years ago. I always wondered why the pitching trainer back then had asked me to tone down and gave a dead-serious presentation. When, naturally, I liked gesturing and speaking animatedly about stuff.

Then, I remember that it was about doing justice to my project. My personality unfortunately, contradicts my films. For someone who is (supposedly) loud and cheery, my films were usually described as melancholic and quiet. So it became my duty then, to present my film for what it was. I should be serving the content of my film. Trying anything funny or humorous would diminish my project.

With that in mind, what I presented during the rehearsal and what I presented during the final presentation with Ming Jin, was entirely different.

And then, the presentation was over. And it was already evening.

I celebrated with a gelato.

We also ended up on Italian TV! (sadly, they covered only the first few pitches of the session, mine was among the last... so, no video of me in action)

The 12 selected projects of the Biennale College were also mentioned on Screen Daily and The Hollywood Reporter.

15th of September, I said goodbye to Venice.

Goodbye Venice.

For nearly two weeks, I was staying on the island of San Servolo, which is 10 minutes away from the main island of Venice.

San Servolo itself is the venue for the Venice International University.

For the first time, I got to look at some of its art exhibits.

A woman resting forever near the sea? Something I found on San Servolo Island, Venice

A melancholic statue

Fascinated by fleeting reflections

Since then, I had been working non-stop on my script.